XP Charaset

Fixed my face problem, actually :P.

Karsuman, do you have AIM or MSN?

XP Charaset

Is there an XP Charset template somewhere?

Also, does XP take faces somehow?

Sorry for these silly questions. I'm trying to bust out this production for my supa-secret project.

PS - You guys are going to LOVE IT....

Xenogears Battle System


I'm wondering something about the Xenogears battle system for the PSX.

Basically, when you start a battle in Xenogears, you have the option of doing any combination consisting of one of three attacks (of course, the players of the game would know this)

Now, my question is, did Xenogears let you back out of an attack at any given time, even if you didn't do a Super Move? For example, if a combination is:

Triangle, Square

and after Triangle, I decide that I don't feel like continuing a combo, could I back out of that combo sequence? Or was I forced to continue the combo until I performed a Super Move or ran out of AP?


Real-Time Battle System Part 1


I'm gonna teach everyone how to innovate CBS's soon! Easy-to-understand tutorial coming soon from moi!!

Real-Time Battle System Part 1

This is a nice ABS.

As a side note, I don't think you need to have an else parameter when making a parallel process common event like this. It would basically move on to the next condition if the first one isnt met, and if nothing is met, then nothing happens.

Having else parameters confuses the game into executing the else if the first isnt true, and it can cause unnecessary nested forks.

Collaborative Writing--Indie Games

This confuses me.
Are you saying that hardly any inde rpg developers do original storylines?

And if so are you saying that writing fan-fiction is somehow more backseat writing than other original storylines?

No, it has nothing to do with original/non-original storyline. I should have elaborated a little more on this point, but this is my feeling on each line:

1) Re-creation: This includes a recreation of a game, a prequel/sequel/fanfiction of a game, or series of games. I don't mean that there is always a non-original storyline. What I mean is the general focus for a fanfiction is primarily the graphics and the gameplay, with the storyline an essential part of the game---but not as important.

This is not to say that the storyline is necessarily fact, most of them are probably good. What I am saying is that having a good graphic of Link (and all of his attacks) and making sure that the ABS is perfect is usually MORE IMPORTANT than creating the storyline and careful event-mapping. Also, for the purpose of multiple writers, if you are making the next Zelda or Final Fantasy game, you already know who your characters are and what storyline you will convey---so you don't need multiple writers.

2) Movie/Book port: Same thing.

3) Joke game: In this case, the storyline is usually not even important at all. In the case of games like Alex's Adventure (???) or Corporal Buggy Bear, or Community RPGs, usually the point of the game isn't to deliver a ground-breaking or even interesting plot, but instead to deliver loads of laughter through the silliest and funnest ways possible. Usually it's done through dialogue, although silly puzzles and battle systems have been done before.

Test game: Same thing, except something like this would include the new fandangled Custom Battle System with incredible gameplay, or the extremely detailed Final Fantasy VII Custom Menu System (I forgot who made it). The storyline in creations like this are non-existant---therefore, multiple writers aren't necessary.

Collaborative Writing--Indie Games

author=Karsuman link=topic=2246.msg38431#msg38431 date=1224179596
While this is a nice article, writers as an 'RM profession' are usually the least in demand because most RM* people are convinced that their own ideas are awesome and that they can 'write'.

This is so true!!! Everyone should read this three times over, dissect it, digest it, and read it again. This is one of the reasons that sharing your writing AT THE VERY LEAST is important for constructive criticism. Perhaps the person who reads a storyline has the PERFECT DEVELOPMENT or perfect next-step---and you may even end up working together to improve it.

Game Design Dissection.

No one in the corner got swagger like us
Swagger like us, swagger swagger like us
No one in the corner got swagger like us
Swagger like us, swagger swagger like us.

Great article!! I love the games you mentioned.
And yeah, BoFIV is just awesome in terms of presentation.

Also, the main difference between sidequests in an MMORPG compared to JRPG is that MMORPG sidequests usually serve to (hopefully) make your character stronger or better-equipped in some way.

Alternatively, JRPG sidequests can serve for storyline advancement/unlockable plots, as well as new equipment and skills.

Collaborative Writing--Indie Games

Bad Guy Notice
Please do not distribute, post, or profit from this material. This material is only allowed to be posted on my website, the forums with which I associate with, and on any webmaster/forum member's website/blog space whom has asked permission before posting or blogging it. Sale of this and any of my material, whether online or physically, is strictly prohibited.

Entertainment Notice
This material, and any material that I post, is strictly for entertainment and knowledge/learning purposes. It is not designed as a be-all, end-all tutorial. It is not designed to fix and/or alleviate your game or book of any negative criticism or hype, all of which should be expected when creating either a game or book. This material should solely be used as a guideline in addition to your current writing and creation styles. Use at your own risk--I cannot guarantee or take responsibility for the use of this material.

Writing Style Notice
I am a very technical and theoretical writer. To me, it is just as important to know the background and theories of various subjects, supported by various opposed to, for example, listing items and offering vague descriptions and suggestions for what I think you should do with your game. Knowledge is power, and doing is learning.


What is collaborative writing?

Collaborative writing is an often discussed and controversial solution to the writing portion of any publication. In it's most basic form, collaborative writing is any piece of literary information which contains two or more authors. While the concept of collaborative writing can differ from implementation to implementation, true collaborative writing requires equal access of material in order to add, edit, and delete information within any portion of the work, at any stage of the work.

While true collaborative writing is extremely rare, a form of collaborative writing is essential to the release of most commercial magazines. Multiple editors, usually more than four, are required to revise any given article and make necessary changes and edits as the context allows. This allows for a tier "proofreading" system within the company, and also proposes communication and sharing of ideas between individual writers.

Aside from magazines, all other commercial written works surprisingly taper off in author plurality. Fiction books, for example, are usually never collaboratively written because of intellectual property conflicts and profit-sharing issues. However, a non-fiction book written by two or more authors isn't unheard of--yet still uncommon. Strictly contrasting this trend, informational websites (and some fictional ones) are well-known for true collaborative works. Very popular collaboratively-written websites include Wikipedia,, and H2G2.

Modern commercial video games are recently incorporating collaborative works, with varying degrees of complexity in terms of storyline. In comparison, almost all retro video games usually had one writer (who also helped in another facet of the game's production). It really wasn't until the release of the Playstation (PSX, PSOne) that collaboratively written games, usually RPGs, began to surface. The complexity of video games have risen consumer expectations, and companies are now considering storyline to be as important as gameplay in modern video games---even for platformers such as Spyro The Dragon, or Tomb Raider.

Collaborative writing in Indie creations?

Writing in Indie games--more specifically, RPGs--generally takes a backseat to gameplay and game elements (such as graphics and sounds). The most common reason for this is because most Indie creations fall in one three categories:
1) Re-creation, or prequel/sequel, to an existing game or series;
2) Movie, or book "port" of a game, such as an RPG based on Dreamcatcher or Batman;
3) A "test" or "joke" game, to test out a particular concept or custom system, or delivers lots of comedy. "Community RPGs" fall under this category, except "Chain Games."

So usually, Indie games will attempt to cater to the creator (as a fan), game/series fans (with same interest), and/or a community or group of friends (with joke games, or test games with a custom system). These games are generally written, directed and programmed by one hand, and if there is a team, the other members are varied artists and composers. Very, very rarely, does one of the archetypes listed above have various writers; concept directors; publishing/marketing directors; various programmers; etc. It isn't necessary, and could very well cause needless confusion and conflict.

Therefore, for the purpose of this article, I am only referring to original storylines.

Why collaboratively write?

Generally, if you have your storyline completed, you obviously don't need more writers. You could hire a concept planner to help review your work and suggest various revisions and changes, or perhaps another writer could review and give his critique. However, if you are most indie creators, your game is still in pre-production. Your game may even be in pre-conception. In a case like this, it may be beneficial to consider the pros and cons of hiring writers.

Collaborative writing has many benefits for the right director. On average, a story written by two or more people is finished much quicker than written by one. The writers have a chance to exchange ideas and information back and forth, and discuss possibilities in the storylines. Generally, every writer has their specialties, and one writer may be perfect at coming up with dilemmas that your characters may face during the game---while another writer can always think of the perfect word that belongs in that dialogue (or the perfect dialogue!!). Perhaps another writer isn't so great at determining storyline within the game, but he writes fantastic trailers---and therefore should work with the marketing director/trailer production team.

Of course, all of that should be taken with a grain of salt. Collaborative writing does have it's negative sides and downfalls---although the degree of the downfalls is ultimately determined by the executive director/owner. There is always a possibility of plot clashes, minor discrepancies within the character views or dialogue. Differences may occur between the individual writers, which slows down production, and creates animosity in the team. Slower production can also occur with group meetings regarding permanent decisions in terms of story/character direction.

Role with it!

So you decided that you want various writers on your team. Being an effective leader is very important when having multiple people in the same department. The first thing you must always remember is that the ultimate decision regarding anything rests on you. In fact, allowing the writers to settle it amongst them, or "duke it out" is never a good idea, and will only cause animosity between them (and potentially lost writers). Of course, if you know your team and you know they always come to a peaceful conclusion, great! However, for newly-formed teams or well-known members who have a tendency of becoming irate (or worse), knowledge of all decisions bring made and firm decision-making is crucial for production.

If you are a writer working in a team, know that not everyone (including your boss!) will agree with everything that you come up with. A small bit of humility is required, along with some skin and negotiating abilities. This is especially important when you aren't familiar with the other writer(s) on the team. Of course, constructive criticism is important. Remember that you are representing yourself and your boss through a piece of written work. If it's a bad idea, say so---even if it's your own. But instead of attacking the writer or the idea, offer explanations for why the idea is bad, or what could make it better. Usually, this mending of an idea is a better accepted solution, and the originator of the idea will be more receptive to this sort of suggestion.

No matter what role you play in the development of a game, however, note that everyone wants to be heard. Support members won't like working with a leader who won't listen to ideas; a leader won't like working with radical support members who won't listen to reason. It goes beyond any "chemistry" that a team may or may not have. The term "bad chemistry" (when used in the context of team members) is a misunderstood and ultimately false concept. A team with "bad chemistry" ultimately consists of a team who's unwilling to listen to each others' ideas.


When deciding to write a storyline, a fair amount of pre-planning is always suggested. Unlike a single writer for a storyline, multiple writers can listen to a single idea and form vastly differing opinions. This is noted even in writers with closely similar styles; if you asked three writers to perform a single task for you, you will get three different results. Of course, the key to collaborative writing is to divide the writing projects in accordance to their interest level and ability.

If Final Fantasy VI's writers were to split up the game in today's terms, perhaps the beginning half of the game would have been written by one person, up until Kefka comes into power. Another writer would take up the other half of the game. With only moderate character information exchange, they could easily independently write their respective halves of storyline without clashing too heavily with each other. Maybe after they were finished, they could switch storyline and "proofread" for existing conflicts. Any conflicts that exist within the complete story would be resolved and the programmers would have a completed story to work with.

While it probably didn't happen like that, something similar could easily be done with today's indie creations, seriously speeding up production and release of quality games. Proper communication is always encourages between teams as a whole, but proactive members will make it a point to communicate FOR their developers or editors. If you know that the programmer is busy getting the battle system together, perhaps you can send the artist a sketch of what the character in your storyline looks like so he can make a sprite in time for the programmer (so he doesn't have to ask). If you are finished with Act II and the programmer is still in Act I, you can let the artists know of the chipsets, tilesets, and monsters the programmer will need for Act II.

Conversely, programmers: if you have a fantastic storyline idea or want to implement a system that would require some backstory (like an Esper system), be sure to let the writer know so he can tie it into the story.

Overall, while collaboratively writing requires much pre-planning for consistency and a bit of a tougher director, I feel it can be very beneficial to the right team, or with the right storyline. If the storyline is divisible in terms of major events that occur IN the storyline, it is extremely time-consuming and can allow for material and programming forecasting. Communication is a two-way road; while lack of communication can easily lead into a ruinous plot, plenty of communication and discussion can speed up production and allow for fantastic plots in much less time.

Are we alone in the universe?

author=Naedeslus link=topic=1945.msg36291#msg36291 date=1223346512
I think due to the sheer probability of the universe, there might even be an exact copy of this planet. Due to just how huge the universe is. So I believe there is in fact alien life-forms, in fact I think the universe is loaded with them. The universe is always expanding and evolving.

I was just talking with my co-worker about this subject today, and this was exactly my stance. With all the galaxies that are being discovered, and the almost infinite amount of "space" there is left to explore, the odds of a planet NOT existing which can/does sustain life is almost nil.

This is VERY interesting (even though it's fairly juvenile), and deserves a quick look:
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